Frankenstein 2028 by John C. Mannone

We created a monster.

Its parts salvaged from many

other lives from the past, dead

sure it was going to be better

for all of us. Its long arms,

however, weren’t designed

to embrace us, just to grab

our subsistence, and for some

our dignity. The feet, too,

will stomp our spirit.

The System has no heart

just electrical surges

in the stock market, the high

cost of living, and dying

to keep its moving parts

charged up. It’s amazing

how politics has been

so parasitic that connections

to the people have corroded

creating an open circuit.

Its brain is a thoughtless

construct. It doesn’t care

to discriminate. We are all

equally screwed in this new

world, this foresworn utopia.

And it doesn’t have a soul.

We, the people—

the inventors of this were sure

to leave any sense of conscience

or morality out. It’s completely

stripped of God, so it doesn’t hear

prayers. Alas. This machine is

indeed a frankenstein

     and all frankensteins

     kill their creators.

Epilog: Socio-economic and cultural-political unrest led to a new democracy. But this dystopian world was already here, it’s been underground for decades; now, it’s fully surfaced. There are no borders, no immigrants in the one-world order; no more class distinctions, no race or gender distinctions, we are all homogenized; and no free-thinking people, we are now part of the collective. Abortions are mandatory for the sake of longevity—stem cell research promises that. The dysfunctional elderly are discarded. Dissidents are exterminated.


Poet John C. MannoneJohn C. Mannone, the 2020 Dwarf Stars Award winner and an HWA Scholarship recipient (2017), has poems appearing in North Dakota QuarterlyBlue Fifth ReviewPoetry SouthBaltimore ReviewPedestal, and others. He won the Impressions of Appalachia Creative Arts Contest in poetry (2020) and the Carol Oen Memorial Fiction Prize (2020). He was awarded a Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as the celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). His full-length collections are Disabled Monsters (Linnet’s Wings Press, 2015), Flux Lines: The Intersection of Science, Love, and Poetry (Linnet’s Wings Press, 2022), Sacred Flute (Iris Press, 2023), and Song of the Mountains (Middle Creek Publishing, 2023). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. He’s an Assistant Professor of Physics and Chemistry, who also teaches Astronomy at Alice Lloyd College, as well as an invited Professor of Creative Writing [Poetry]. He lives in southeast Kentucky.


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